Lock Her Up for WHAT, Though?

Donald Trump really wants to punish Hillary Clinton. Like all terrible authoritarians before him, he wants to annihilate his most accurate and courageous critics; and like all insecure megalomaniacs before him, he wants to ruin the person whose decency indicts him, by projecting on her his own worst characteristics and then pronouncing her deserving of scorn and harm.

He has ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Clinton, publicly tweeting his directive, and, a day before Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he sent a letter to Republican committee chair Bob Goodlatte, disclosing that Sessions has "directed senior federal prosecutors to explore whether a second special counsel should be appointed to probe a host of GOP concerns — possibly including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia."

During the hearing, Sessions insisted he was not being influenced by Trump, desperately trying to maintain the illusion of objectivity, while also keeping the door open for an investigation of Clinton:
At Tuesday's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Sessions denied that he was responding to Mr. Trump's public pressure. "A president cannot improperly influence an investigation," he said, "and I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced. The president speaks his mind. He's a bold and direct about what he says, but people elected him. But we do our duty every day based on the law and facts."

Even as he rebuffed Democrats suggesting he had been compromised, Mr. Sessions pushed back against Republicans who pressed him on why he had not already appointed a special counsel. "What's it going to take to get a special counsel?" demanded Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio.

"It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel," Mr. Sessions said.
The Republicans have been hanging their hope on the Russia Reversal — the narrative it was actually Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who colluded with Russia. But the more scrutiny given to collusion with Russia during the campaign, the worse it gets for Trump. So they've shifted their eggs into the Uranium One basket, trying to create Sessions' requisite "factual basis" with a bunch of bullshit to justify a special counsel to investigate Clinton.

Trump's minions at Fox News have been hitting the story hard, but the entire conspiracy theory took a major blow last night when Shep Smith "took apart the Uranium One conspiracy theory in what amounts to a methodical annihilation of his own network's coverage of the story."

Even so, the accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale. She did not. A committee of nine evaluated the sale, the President approved the sale, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and others had to offer permits, and none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia. That is Uranium One.
One might imagine that would settle the matter, but of course it has only turned Smith into a target for conservative excoriation.

Because facts are irrelevant. Facts are the things that stand in the way of putting Hillary Clinton in handcuffs and marching her onto a platform in a public square to begin her show trial.

That Trump is leading this charge is very serious indeed. And he's chosen a target that many of the most powerful people in this country have decided it's okay to abuse; about whom it's okay to lie; whom countless people are unwilling to defend, no matter what is being done to her.

I hope that these folks love their country and its democracy more than they hate Hillary Clinton, but, given the result of the 2016 election, I'm not sure that they do.

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